Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Elizabeth White, Karthick Viswanathan, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Recurring Revenue, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Recurring Revenue: Article

Right Things in Agile Project Management By @Datical | @CloudExpo

What Cannot Easily be Visualized Can Often Get Trivialized or Forgotten

Measuring the Right Things in Agile Project Management

I read a really thought-provoking article on Agile project management this morning from Mike Griffiths on his blog Leading Answers (see article here). Mike introduces the topic by explaining how he’s a huge fan of adding meaning to project management through the use of visual tools. As a self-described visual thinker, Mike admits this is “a weakness as well as a strength, because what cannot easily be visualized can often get trivialized or forgotten.”

“Plans and prototypes are great because they easily bring people together to debate and collaborate on important project elements. Since we have something to point at and annotate; discussions and agreements progress quickly because consensus making is greatly facilitated. However what about conflict management, decision making across teams, or business engagement issues? These are more difficult to visualize but arguably more important than if a web site should have a blue or a green background.“

Across every environment wherein I worked in some management capacity, ranging from conducting military operations in the heat and dust of Iraq to building an enterprise software company from the ground up, I’ve found it useful to build a visual tool when discussing new concepts or ideas. The medium has never been that important – I’ve sketched out plans on the back of an MRE box and used rocks in lieu of chalk to draw concepts on the hood of my Humvee for discussion with my soldiers, spent hours perfecting a set of slides to brief four-star generals, and drawn out straw men proposals on my white board to explain ideas at Datical. The point of these activities is echoed by Mike – “Since we have something to point at and annotate; discussions and agreements progress quickly because consensus making is greatly facilitated.”

It’s incredibly difficult to build or reach consensus around new concepts while remaining in the abstract. Humans are extremely visual creatures – supporting evidence of this can be found in the fact that humans have some of the most highly evolved eyeballs found in the entire animal kingdom. The process of sketching out a new concept for discussion is what I like to call “throwing a stake in the ground.” The concept becomes firmly planted, takes material shape, serves as a point of reference, and facilitates conversation. Once the stake is thrown, changes can be made, it can be moved, it can be scrapped altogether in favor of a different stake, etc.

This philosophy dovetails with a concept I’ve been mulling over for about a year now. The idea is that nothing actually exists until there is some frame of reference to compare it to. Consider an environment that’s a complete vacuum – there is nothing in it, no light, no heat, no mass, no time – now draw a square in the vacuum. But in this context, what are “sides?” What is “4?” What is a “right angle?” Nothing has any meaning in this context – even if you successfully drew a square in this environment there would be no other pre-existing shapes to differentiate it from. However, if you were to draw a circle beside that square in empty space, you now have the ability to compare, to differentiate – to define.

Visual tools provide a frame of reference – something that folks can lock on to, and say, “I don’t like that. Your square sucks.” And you know what? That’s fine to say, because what you’ve elicited at that point is a response, a declaration, an individual decision that can help you get to the next decision and the next decision after that. It’s A/B testing for ideas.

This is why visual tools are compelling, but Mike argues that visual tools can also be misleading – if you choose to visually describe only those things which are easy to visualize. He argues that this practice can instill a culture which misses the most important metrics in projects, because humans become fixated on what they can see, and end up trivializing that which they cannot see – “out of sight, out of mind.”

“This is why some project teams misguidedly pay lots of attention to easy to measure metrics like lines of software code written or hours worked yet fail to track things like collaboration and information sharing – that stuff is just difficult to track and influence.“

A million lines of code are useless if they don’t contribute to business objectives. However, collaboration and sharing the right information, at the right time, can help to ensure those lines of code support the business in achieving its defined goals, and that is useful.

This is important for project managers. It’s important for Agile development organizations. It’s important to the business. If the adage that “what cannot be measured, cannot be managed” is true, then there is an implied responsibility for management to carefully define what must be measured first, and only then to define the metrics to measure the “what.” If the thing being measured does not contribute to business objectives, it is a useless metric, regardless of whether or not it’s easy to visualize.

More Stories By Rex Morrow

Rex is the Marketing Director at Datical, a venture-backed software company whose solution, Datical DB, manages and simplifies database schema change management in support of high velocity application releases. Prior to Datical, Rex co-founded Texas Venture Labs, a startup accelerator at the University of Texas, and received his MBA from the McCombs School of Business. Before graduate school, Rex served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, and was awarded two bronze stars during combat deployments in Iraq.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...